We were first introduced to the performance-themed Octavia RS 245 in early February. Featuring a 2.0-litre TSI engine with 245hp, Skoda bills this compact as the quickest and most-powerful factory Octavia ever. That of course doesn’t include the full-on rally-spec Octavia used for a time in the World Rally Championship, but sitting under the lights for its official debut in Geneva, we kind-of wish Skoda would give the always-the-underdog Octavia another WRC shot.
On the outside, the RS 245 isn’t that far removed from the RS 230, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There’s plenty of black to be found, from the bold front grille and honeycomb air inlets to standard-issue 19-inch allow wheels and dual trapezoid exhaust tips. Redesigned headlight clusters illuminate the road with full LED power. Head and taillights are LED as well.
More black trim is found inside, though interior appointments take on something of a monotone feel. The RS-emblazoned Alcantara sport seats seem ready for duty in the lateral arts, and the beefy sport steering wheel gets red stitching because hey, this is the RS model. Also included is the 9.2-inch infotainment screen, LED ambient lighting, a full-range of driving assists including adaptive cruise control and emergency braking, and mobile Wi-Fi availability.
In a first for the Octavia, the RS 245 is also available with VW Group's new seven-speed dual-clutch DSG automatic gearbox. Gears can be shifted using paddles on the wheel, but manual fans can still opt for a six-speed 'box. Regardless of the input, power goes through a trick VAQ limited-slip differential that Skoda says will be distinctive to the RS 245.
With 245hp, this is the quickest factory-built Octavia ever, but straight-line performance isn’t necessarily trend-setting. Skoda says the hatchback version will reach 60mph in 6.6 seconds, with the estate hitting the mark a tenth of a second later. What could make the RS 245 more interesting, however, is the 273lb ft of torque that’s available between 1,600 and 4,300rpm. With that kind of low-end grunt, the Octavia should be a lively brawler on the street.
Though Skoda has long-since removed the Octavia from official WRC duty, the RS 245 still carries a flavour of its rally history. See our photos from the official debut in Geneva to get a taste of Skoda's newest Octavia in all its rally sport glory.